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Mother of the Beige Dress Refashion

Scrap-Busting DIY Infinity Scarf
Short Sleeve to Long Sleeve Dress Refashion

When my friends and I made plans to meet up for Main Street’s monthly art crawl, I realized I didn’t have a thing to wear! I decided on this:

Mother of the Beige Dress Refashion before

The weird thing about this piece is that it actually fits me perfectly. Beneath that flouncy top layer is a fitted dress. I like to think this is a late 70’s-early 80’s Mother of the Bride dress. I hope she was a nice mother-in-law and that the kids are still going strong. 😉

Upon closer inspection, I found this label which I think is pretty cool.

Made in USA label

I know a lot of larger department stores used to have their own brands, but somehow I hadn’t yet seen a JC Penny frock before.

This is a simple one, you guys. I could have removed that top flouncy layer and turned it into a perfectly ok maxi dress, but every time I tried to put my scissors to that beautiful wide lace at the waist and sleeves, I just couldn’t do it!

Instead, I took my scissors to the bottom!

cut off bottom of dress
Bye girl. Girl bye.

I COULD have left the bottom edge raw, as this is a non-fraying polyester, but I had a little time on my hands and I really wanted this dress to look nice & finished, so it got a simple hem.

pinned bottom hem
sewing bottom hem

I feel sort of lame for feeling this way, but one of my favorite parts of my new Pfaff is this little scissor button you see here:

closeup of pfaff sewing machine
Whatever is it for?

Do you hate having to manually snip thread ends? With this you don’t have to. It automatically trims the thread from your work. Right there. Just by pushing a button.

I really don’t know how it works, but it’s pretty amazeballs.


After a quick press, my dress was ready to get it’s art on!

Mother of the Beige Dress Refashion after
Bad lighting.

I styled this one with a set of vintage glass beads, grey tights, and modest patent heels. I think it has a cool 60’s-mod-meets-20’s-flapper look to it, and I’m really glad I saved that lace.  ðŸ™‚

I like it from the back too.

back of dress
Le back!

I saw some really neat things, including this Day of the Dead display:

Dia de los Muertos display
Dia de los Muertos!

A few selfies were taken on my circa 2010 phone as well (no filter, just an old phone). 😉

jillian and friends
Hi Erin & Ken!
Jillian and friends
Hi Phillip & Alex!
Jillian and Erin
“Let’s pose like Jane Austen characters!”

Curious as to what became of that bottom scrap? I turned it into a no-sew infinity scarf!

Viva la No Waste ReFashion! 🙂


Mother of the Beige Dress Refashion before and after

Scrap-Busting DIY Infinity Scarf
Short Sleeve to Long Sleeve Dress Refashion

57 thoughts on “Mother of the Beige Dress Refashion”

  1. when i saw the before picture of this dress, my thought was how in the world can she fix that thing! and so simple but so effective. You certainly have talent! i would never have seen that but you are teaching me. Thank you

  2. Love it! One of my favorites that you’ve created. As an avid thrift store shopper and a so-so seamstress (no pun intended) you have inspired me to look at the ugly frocks in my local store and possibly maybe even attempt to redesign. Thanks for being an inspiration!

  3. Like many others, I had my doubts about the original dress, but, as always, You created an absolute winner! You look incredible in the new, shorter, trimmer dress, and I love that you highlighted that gorgeous lace. It’s wonderful that the same dress was worn by two very different women, decades apart, and made each of you feel beautiful! Blessings…..Jill

  4. I have to say I doubted that you could turn that monstrosity into anything near decent, pretty or usable. I was wrong to doubt you Queen Refashionista – that is now beautiful! Love the retro look you achieved and the lace – well you were right not to cut it. Love this recycled and refashioned tunic Karen x

  5. The details (neckline and lace trim) took center stage once you removed that mammoth, overwhelming skirt. Good call. Great (and EASY) save. That neckline is very flattering for you.

  6. I think this may be the most amazing one yet. Horrible dress as a starting point and oh, so cute finale. You have an incredible eye for transformation!

  7. I love how you used the lance and the back how it was use you look so fancy the shoes are great love keep up the work I would hav cut the lance wrong you gave me ideas on how not to multilate my lace l ol thanks again

  8. You have ruined me, I can’t go into a second hand shop without you whispering in my ear-“see that, know what you could do with that, what if you cut this here and….”. Your words and pics are fun! Thx Jo

  9. So happy when I open my mail, and there’s one from you! Most times I look at the before pic and think “Oh my!” Then, when you are finished working your snip, snip…whirr, whirr…I think “Oh my!”

  10. Truly one of my favorite refashions! Seeing that super ugly dress in the first picture, I couldn’t imagine how you were going to make good come out of it! But it turned out super cute!

  11. You have mentioned few times that you did not hem non-fraying fabric (or could have skipped it) . Is is just old-fashioned of me to feel like an item without a hem is not finished?

  12. OMG. Your eye for potential is unbelievable! Love the result! … and yes, love the scissors on my machine as well. But the THREADER, that makes my heart race! Your eyes and hands are still young!

  13. Really, really cute!! I never would have given that dress a second look at the thrift store. You are so creative!! Thanks for your amazing inspiration!


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